I’m always going to have a soft spot for James Squire, even though I hardly drink the stuff any more.
I hardly drink it these days for the same reason I have a soft spot for the label – they’re entry level craft beers. I can remember back in the day (ie, about three years ago) I thought James Squire was a pretty cool, pretty tasty range of beers.
Not so much these days. My palate has developed to crave stronger, weirder flavours so those offered in the Squire beers seem tame by comparison. With the possible exception of their IPA, which is the only of their beers I still enjoy drinking, because there’s enough flavour to appease my jaded palate.
Lately James Squire has gone and done something a little odd – they’re released the ‘‘Friendship Pint’’. The idea behind the name is twofold. Firstly, The Friendship was the name of the ship that convict James Squire sailed out to Australia on (for the international BiYF readers, yes James Squire was a real person. But, no, the brewers of these beers have no actual historical link to him).
Secondly, they’re designed to share with friends. And this is why they’re odd. Speaking for myself, I can easily drink a pint of beer on my own – indeed a great many craft beer pubs sell it that way. The Little Creatures Single Batch comes in a pint bottle and I never share that with anyone.
Am I greedy? Yep, but I reckon even the non-beer geeks would scratch their head at a pint bottle designed for two people. The pint equates to 568ml (it’s an English pint, not US), which means two guys sharing one would get 284ml each, which is 1ml short of a middy in NSW. I think my fellow New South Welshmen and women will agree that if someone shouts you a middy of beer you’re going to think them a bit of a tightarse.
If you’re buying beer to share with a mate, you’d buy a six-pack – or at the very least two 345ml bottles – before you buy one Friendship Pint (or maybe you could have a Friendship Pint each).
Really, it would have made more sense for James Squire to release the Friendship range in a 750ml format. Not only would that mean you and a mate each got a schooner’s worth of beer, it’d also place James Squire on the cutting edge a bit. Really, aside from Coopers, there aren’t any craft beer makers putting their wares in the good old longnecks.